ATHENS - A major search and rescue operation in the eary hours of Saturday morning successfully retrieved all 16 crew members of the Togo-flagged freighter "Sea Bird", which sank in the Myrtoan Sea after colliding with the rocky islets known as Karavia.
The ship had set sail from Ukraine bound for Tunisia, carrying 7,000 metric tons of grain.
Two coast guard patrol boats and five nearby ships responded to the distress call, as well as a Hellenic Navy helicopter. The 16 members of the crew, all of them Syrian, were picked up by vessels sailing nearby and then transferred to the coast guard patrol boat to be taken to Monemvasia. All are in good health.
Three anti-pollution vessels are heading toward the site of the shipwreck, while a coast guard aircraft will inspect the area for marine pollution. The weather in the area is good.
Shipping and Island Policy Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis visited the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Coordination Centre as soon as the incident was reported to be briefed about the incident.
Karavia is one of four rocky islets in the Myrtoan Sea where there are strong currents even in calm conditions.